Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Major League Baseball got its first no-hitter of the 2020 season on Tuesday, courtesy of Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox.
The performance came against the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates, who are last place in their NL Central division. The right-hander struck out 13 batters and allowed just one walk. That free pass, in the 4th inning to Erik Gonzalez, was the only thing standing between Giolito and perfection. It took him only 101 pitches to complete the shutout, meaning this was almost a Maddux in addition to a Ryan (that’s a term I just invented for a no-no).
This is just the latest accomplishment for Giolito, who is beginning to make good on his once-elite prospect status — he ranked as high as No. 3 nationally per MLB Pipeline and Baseball Prospectus entering 2016, and No. 5 at Baseball America that same year. Chicago paid a premium to get him the next winter, acquiring him as the headliner for outfielder Adam Eaton (then coming off a 6-WAR season).
Giolito scuffled for a couple years in the majors but broke out last summer, earning an All-Star berth and posting excellent marks with a 3.41 ERA, 3.43 FIP, and a pair of shutouts. He struck out 228 batters in just 176⅔ innings.
Now age 25, he’s been even better so far this year. His FIP is down to 2.70, he’s still striking out 12 batters per nine innings, and he’s cut his hits and homers in his first seven starts — most notably in this most recent game.
This is also relevant to the Oakland A’s because of possible postseason implications. The young White Sox are looking like good bets to make the playoffs, and if the season ended today they’d be the seventh seed — they’re tied for second in their division but would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker against Cleveland, making them the best third-place team. That would put them only one spot away from a first-round matchup against the AL-best A’s, and over the course of the next month there are plenty of ways that the stars could align for them to face off in the Wild Card Round (or, in the second round if they both make it).
Fortunately, the A’s are armed with a pair of no-hitter artists themselves, and it’s the two relatively worst starters in their rotation. A’s-ChiSox would be a hell of a fun series. (They also have Gio Gonzalez!)
- Slusser: A’s sail through first half in first place — and believe they can improve ($)
- Lupica: ‘Anything can happen.’ Is this the A’s year?
- Kawahara: A’s Jake Diekman, T.J. McFarland have been tough on righties - and lefties ($)
- Hickey: Athletics Shift Lineup: Grossman, Piscotty Move Up, Laureano, Olson Head Down
- Hickey: Called Up Monday, Athletics’ Heim Finds Himself Making First MLB Start Tuesday
- Gallegos: Heim, dad ‘emotional’ over callup, debut
- Hall: A’s place Chad Pinder on paternity list, recall Seth Brown
- Hall: Stephen Piscotty is an RBI machine
- Game #31: A’s shuffled lineup wallops Rangers 10-3
MLB News & Interest
- Merkin: No-no for Giolito! White Sox ace quiets Bucs
- Fegan: Lucas Giolito’s transformation grows more incredible with a no-hitter ($$$)
- Castrovince: The 2020 All-Star teams could have been ...
- Camerato: The catch? Well done. The throw? Ridiculous (shades of Laureano)
- Frisaro: Steal 2nd. Steal 3rd. Steal home (by crawling!)
- Rosenthal rumors: The Lance Lynn debate ($$$)
- MLB Trade Rumors: Top 50 Trade Deadline Candidates
- Today in Baseball History
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
Tuesday: Win! Just call this one the Tony Kemp Game.
Best of Twitter
First MLB hit for Jonah Heim!
Proud papa and fam
Ready to watch @Jonah_heim6 make his @MLB debut for the @Athletics. Wish we could be there but understand why we can't. So we'll set up outside turn it up loud and root like we where there at game. Love you kiddo and good luck. pic.twitter.com/MueaANdLmb— James Heim (@13_heim) August 25, 2020
Well that’s encouraging
Melvin says Lou Trivino is starting to look like the Trivino of 2018: "He's more confident on the mound and the velo is great. You can never have too many guys that you count on, especially hard-throwers, which we don't have a ton of."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) August 26, 2020
The A’s are scheduled to play in Houston starting Friday
Major League Baseball announced today that Wednesday’s game between the Astros and the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park in Houston has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, September 5th— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 25, 2020
... though for now, it might turn out OK
I checked with the A’s on this and they have not heard of any changes yet. Right now, A’s believe hurricane will delay their flight in Thursday but might not impact games: https://t.co/68rfGl8t0i— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 25, 2020
Well that’s good news for everyone, Astros or otherwise
The Astros' alternate training site at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi was back up and running today. It had shut down for four days after a positive covid test.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) August 25, 2020
Dunno what’s happening, but here for it
wait wut how did he
THIS MAN JUST BEAR-CRAWLED TO STEAL HOME. pic.twitter.com/2WLPQcs9kR— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) August 26, 2020
The scandal thickens
Does @MLB always alter Gameday data like this or is it just when they want to cover up a bad narrative? This is the same Matt Olson at-bat in the 9th inning, screenshotted last night and again just now. pic.twitter.com/lqBdQ146FS— Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) August 25, 2020
... and even further
See, here's the problem. Adjustment wasn't made on any other at-bat by Olson, just the one where he struck out looking on a bad call. That's fishy as hell. What changed b/w 7th and 9th? Was he standing in a hole? Every other AB has 3 blocks above the plate, that one only has 2. pic.twitter.com/kxMnoL3h5a— Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) August 26, 2020
The Angels now have the worst record in baseball at 9-22. Unreal. https://t.co/8RYPOE6ZeW— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) August 25, 2020
Remember, you can buy your own Jesús Is My Homeboy shirt right here.